Updated 7 hours ago
General Electric isn’t just building a new fleet of locomotives for India.
It’s building up the economy of one of India’s neediest states.
As employees at GE Transportation’s Lawrence Park factory near Erie churn out the first locomotives for India, workers in Marhaura, a small town in Bihar, India, are busy building a 500,000-square-foot factory that will build the bulk of the order.
“This is the first time a large manufacturing industry is being created in that state,” Nalin Jain, head of GE Transportation in India, said on a video call from India. “We’re not only in the business of building locomotives. We are nation-building.”
Building 1,000 locomotives
GE gave the Tribune-Review a first look this month at one of the first two completed locomotives bound for India. The 74-foot-long, 291,000-pound beast was parked on a set of tracks outside the Lawrence Park factory.
India’s Ministry of Railways awarded GE a $2.6 billion contract in 2015 to build 1,000 locomotives for the country.
It’s the largest single locomotive order the industry has ever had, said Richard Simpson, vice president of GE’s global supply chain. It is GE’s largest order ever in India.
The GE factory in Lawrence Park and later in India will need to churn out an average of about two locomotives a week for the next 10 years to meet India’s demand.
GE’s factory in Grove City will build the engines — “The core of the locomotive,” Jain said — for all 1,000 Evolution Series locomotives. The first 40 or so locomotives will be fully built…
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